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FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace

News/Business. An analysis of top newsmakers and events. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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U.s. 36, Cairo 17, Libya 11, United States 10, Romney 10, Us 8, Obama 7, Tunisia 7, Fbi 6, Egypt 6, Washington 6, Afghanistan 5, Mike Rogers 5, Alzheimer 4, America 4, Iran 4, Iraq 4, Alzheimer 's 3, United Nations 3, Rogers 3,
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  FOX News    FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace    News/Business. An analysis of top  
   newsmakers and events. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 16, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00pm PDT  

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committee chair mike rogers. he says it is possible the attacks were planned and coordinated. "fox news sunday" is next. i'm shannon bream. thanks so much for watching fox where more news is always on captioned by closed captioning services, inc. >> chris: i'm chris wallace. violence against americans sweeps the middle east. we'll have the latest from the region and discuss with the obama administration will do next with the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, susan rice. then, big questions on capitol hill. who is behind the attack that killed the u.s. ambassador to libya? and should we cut off foreign aid to governments that fail to protect our diplomats? we'll have the head of the house intelligence committee, chairman mike rogers. plus, tough talk from both candidates on the middle east. we'll ask our sunday panel if
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foreign policy will finally become an issue in this campaign. and our power players of the week. using their washington clout to fight a devastating disease. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. we'll talk with ambassador rice and chairman rogers in a moment. first here is the latest on the situation overseas. protesters have attacked u.s. targets in more than 20 nations. citing concerns over security the state department ordered all nonessential u.s. government personnel to leave sudan and tunisia. and in libya there are reports of more arrests in the attack that killed four americans including ambassador chris stevens. for more on the continuing unrest let's bring in current -- current leland vittert in cairo, egypt. leland?
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>> reporter: in cities across the middle east there is now a tense calm that has taken over here in cairo. hundreds if not thousands of riot police ready on standby in case violence breaks out, once again. for four days, it was a pitched fight between protesters on the street throwing molotov cocktails and hurling rocks and then police firing back with rubber bullets and tear gas. the protesters carrying posters of osama bin laden and chanting obama obama, we are all osama. in tunisia, u.s. citizens advised to evacuate the country and or not travel to tunisia after violence swept there that killed four people when protesters stormed the u.s. embassy. the government of sudan denied entry to a marine special operations team that was deemed sent to secure the u.s. embassy after mass protests in that country which resulted in thousands storming the embassy and security forces opening fire to turn back the protesters.
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al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula issued a communique urging more attacks and here in cairo local media report there's was a credible threat against the u.s. embassy here. security at an unprecedented level with 15-foot tall concrete weariers erected on -- barriers erected on every one of the entranceways down to the u.s. embassy compound. we took a walk around earlier and outside the barricade the protesters made the message clear and spray painted in english, usa go to hell. chris, back to you. >> chris: leland vittert reporting from cairo. thanks for that. joining us now are ambassador to the united nations, susan rice. ambassador welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you. >> chris: this week there have been antiamerican protests in two dozen countries across the islamic world. the white house says it has nothing to do with the president's policies. let's watch. >> this is not a case of
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protests directed at the united states at large or at u.s. policy. this is in response to a video that is offensive. >> chris: you don't really believe that? >> chris, absolutely i believe that. in fact, it is the case. we have had the evolution of the arab spring over the last many months but what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world. now, our strong view is that there is no excuse for violence. it is absolutely reprehensible and never justified but in fact there have been those in various parts of the world who have reacted with violence. their governments have increasingly and effectively responded and protected our facilities and condemned the violence and this outrageous response to what is an offensive video. there is no question as we is
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seen in the past with things like satanic verses and the cartoon of the prophet muhammad there have been such things that have sparked outrage and anger and this has been the proximate cause. >> chris: it may have sparked it but critics say that the outpouring of outrage against the u.s. has everything to do with the u.s. policies that we are disengaging from that part of the world that we pulled out of iraq, we are pulling out of afghanistan, that iran is continuing on with its nuclear program and they say our critics that our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us. >> chris, that is just false. let's be plain. our partners and allies have responded effectively and promptly when we have asked them to protect our facilities and our people. >> chris: well, let's -- it took three days in cairo. >> and what happened initially in cairo was not sufficiently robust when president obama
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picked up the phone and spoke to the president right away things changed. and that is an evidence of our influence and our impact and what happened was that the authorities in egypt have been very robust in protecting our facilities not just in cairo but elsewhere in the country. president morrisy has issued repeated condemnations of the violent response and called for calm and we have seen the same thing in yemen, in libya, in tunisia and many other parts of the world. >> why are we asking all nongovernmental personnel to leave sudan and tunisia. >> we are not asking all nongovernmental personnel. >> chris: all nonessential governmental personnel. >> on a selective basis where we assess that the security
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condition necessitate is have family members vacate the country. it is short-term and temporary and prudent. we do it, chris, because we prioritize the president has been clear his number one priority is the protection of american personnel and facilities. >> chris: do you think we are turning the corner here? >> chris, i think, first of all, we have seen in the past outrage and unfortunately violent outrage which is condemnable and never justified. it may, indeed, occur in other circumstances. there is no predicting exactly what the trajectory of this is. the last couple of days have been somewhat better. we are vigilant and we are of the view that this is not an expression of hostility in the broadest sense towards the united states or u.s. policy. it is a reaction to this video and a hateful video that had nothing to do with the united states and which we find disgusting and reprehensible. >> chris: you talk about our influence and impact in the region. our closest ally in the region israel clearly doesn't feel that we are supporting them when it comes to confronting
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iran. in fact, this past week, prime minister netanyahu blasted the u.s. for its failure to set the same red lines as he has in terms of stopping iran's nuclear program. let's watch what the prime minister said. there is still time. and i say wait for what? wait until when? those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red line -- a red light on jerusalem. >> chris: and when netanyahu requested a meeting the busydent said he was too which to meet with him. >> let me address. >> chris: let me address a question. >> i thought you had. >> chris: when i there will be a question mark at the end.
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>> chris: is that how we treat our best friend in the region? >> as prime minister netanyahu and defense minister barack repeatedly said the relationship between the united states and israel at present is unprecedented it has never been stronger. those are their words. that is the overall nature of our relationship, very strong. stronger than ever. secondly, with respect to iran. the united states, president obama has been absolutely crystal clear that the united states will not allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and we will do what it takes to prevent that from happening. all options remain on the table. the president has been very clear about that and that includes the military option. this is not a policy of containment, chris, as the president has repeatedly said. a policy to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. that is the bottom line or as the prime minister prefers to call it a red line, that is the bottom line. we have also said and we are in constant communication with israeli security and intelligence and policy
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officials that we still think there is time through economic pressure which is unprecedented as well, iran's economy is now shrinking by 1% a year. its oil production is down 40%. its currency plummeted 40% just in the last several months as sanctions have gone into fullest effect. we think there is time and space for that pressure to yield a result. the bottom line, chris, is the only way to permanently end iran's nuclear program is if it decides to give that program up. now, the most solemn decision that a president can ever take is a decision to go to war. president obama's view is we will do what it takes. but before we resort to force let us be sure we have exhausted other means including sanctions, pressure and diplomacy to ensure that iran finally gives up its nuclear weapons. >> chris: in the time we have left. >> you asked about the visit. >> chris: we have limited time.
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if you want to go long i'm happy to as well. >> i don't want to leave that hanging. that was the third point i wanted to address. >> we have three points. go ahead. as you know, the president is coming up to the general assembly in new york at the united nations. he will be there in the beginning of the week monday and tuesday. prime minister netanyahu is coming toward the end of the week. the schedules don't match. there is no opportunity for them to meet in the u.s. >> the prime minister would be willing i'm sure to go to and in fact there is suggestions from the israelis to go to washington. >> the prime minister hasn't asked for a meeting in washington, chris. >> chris: he said that countries that don't set red lines don't have the moral authority to put red lights on israel. that doesn't sound like a happy ally, am bas ambassador. >> we are close partners and friends and always will be. that is an enduring aspect of the u.s. israeli relationship. >> chris: why did he -- why did he call president obama in the middle of the night and talk for an hour? >> because they are friends and when friends need to say
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something to each other they pick up the phone and talk and they talked for an hour. are it was a good conversation and it is in the nature of our relationship that the two partners speak to one another regularly. we have no daylight between us on the issue of preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. that is our clear bottom line and the president could not be any plainer about it. >> chris: let's talk about the attack on the u.s. consultate in benghazi that killed four americans including ambassador chris stevens. the top libyan official now says that the attack on tuesday was quote his words preplanned. al-qaeda says the operation was revenge for our killing a top al-qaeda leader. what do we know? >> first of all, chris, we are are obviously investigating this very closely. the fbi has the lead in this investigation. the information the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned premeditated attack. that what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous rehe action to what had just
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transpired in cairo as a consequence of the video. that people quartered outside of the emba -- people gathered outside of the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came it heavy weapons which unfortunately are quite common in post revolutionary libya and that then spun out of control. but we don't see at this point signs that this was a coordinated planned premeditated attack. obviously we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then but i do think it is important for the american people to know our best current assessment. >> chris: and the last question, terror cells in benghazi had carried out five attacks since april including one at the same consultate, a bombing at this same consultate in june. should u.s. security have been tighter at that consultate given the history of terror activity in benghazi?
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>> we did have a strong security and three of the four americans that died were there to provide security. it obviously wasn't sufficient in the circumstances to prevent the overrun of the consultate. this is among the things that will be looked at as the investigation unfolds. >> chris: but it could have been stronger beforehand? >> also why we reenforced our security presence in tripoli in the aftermath of this as well as in other parts of the world. i can't judge that, chris. we have to see what the assessment reveals. obviously there was a significant security presence defending our consultate and our other facility in benghazi and that did not prove sufficient to the moment. >> chris: ambassador rice, thank you so much for coming in today and discussing the fast-moving developments in that part of the world. thanks so much. >> thank you for having me. >> chris: up next, the head of the house intelligence committee mike rogers with the latest on who was behind that deadly attack on our diplomats.
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>> chris: there are still more questions than answers about the attack in libya tuesday that killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. for more on where the investigation stands we are joined by the chairman of the house intelligence committee, congressman mike rogers in his home state of michigan. congressman, you just heard ambassador rice say that her latest indications are that the attack on the consultate in benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration about the video that spun out of control. do you agree with the ambassador? >> i think it is just too early to make that conclusion. there are -- there is analysts in department of defense and cia and operatives in both places.
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as an fbi agent i get to look at all of that. i come to a different conclusion. they are only moderately confident it was a spontaneous event because there is huge gaps in what we know. the way that the attack took place, i have serious questions. it seemed to be a military style coordinated. they had indirect fire, coordinated with direct fire. rocket attacks. they were able to launch two different separate attacks on locations there near the consultate and they repelled a fairly significant libyan force that came to rescue the embassy. and then it was on 9/11 and there is other information classified information that we have that just makes you stop for a minute and pause and as the first thing you learn as a young fbi agent is there are coincidences but they are not likely and there are a lot of coincidences about this event. do i believe that people did show up that had weapons and joined the effort. probably i do but i think to me
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when you look at all of the information across both departments i'm suspect that they could come to that conclusion that it was a spontaneous effort given the coordination of it. >> chris: there has been talk about an extremist group in benghazi. there has been talk that they were in touch with another group, al-qaeda in north africa. what can you you tell us about that? >> for months al-qaeda in the magraib across northern africa which joined in about 2007, i think it was or 2008, they joined al-qaeda so they had their own groups across northern africa. they have been looking because al-qaeda core have told them that you you need to start attacking western targets so they have been looking for opportunities. there was an ied at this facility just months ago. there is some interest by al-qaeda, strong interest i should say to attack western targets. we know that al-qaeda cells in
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tunisia have been developing, in libya have been developing. we can't say for certain it was an al-qaeda event, it just has all of the hallmarks, chris, of an al-qaeda style event. >> chris: given and you mentioned the fact there had been an ied attack at this consultate. there have as i mentioned to ambassador rice been five terror attacks on the ground against western interests in benghazi. i understand that hindsight is 20/20 but were we he as prepared as we should have been given the fact that there was a history of violence in the region and, yes, was the anniversary of 9/11 and, yes, the ambassador was at this not very fortified installation in benghazi. should there have been more security there? >> that one is hard to assess. i think we need to walk to that conclusion and not run. one of the things we do ask diplomats in places like libya to do and remember they are in volunteers and in dangerous area, it is a bit of an
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expeditionary exercise. we didn't have an embassy there but important to have u.s. influence there for hopefully a better outcome that leaves to more peaceful events in the future. so he gave his life in that effort. we have to look at was the security accurate for what we knew in accordance with what the mix was for the ambassador was in benghazi at that time. i don't think any one today can say yes or no. i know the fbi is on the ground and they will have a great forensic when they are done a great forensic picture for us and then we can make that determination and also through the committee and intelligence services scrubbing everything we knew up to that point. was there a smoking gun that was missed. i don't think we know that answer either. i have not seen anything that indicates that. but we just don't know. i think all of those pieces have to be put together before we come to the conclusion they didn't have the right security posture there in benghazi. >> chris: let's talk about the broader picture and wave of antiamerican violence across
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the islamic world this week. you just heard ambassador rice say this has nothing to do with u.s. policy in the middle east. it is all about that video that insults the prophet muhammad. congressman, do you believe that? >> boy, i don't. i think this is a convenient effort by all of the groups who have other ulterior motives. if you remember even i know the ambassador mentioned the prophet muhammad cartoons. there were months that went by before violence was incited. they did that through their that own information operations. al-qaeda and terrorist groups. al-qaeda is clearly trying to use this to incite violence. this is a mechanism to do what they have been trying to do all along. what we are finding in some of the demonstrators in egypt is finding that a lot of the folks showing up hadn't even seen the video and this is some of that youth group that really started the change in egypt and now the day the election happened felt immediately disenfranchised.
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economic and religious problems and cultural differences and tribal differences in libya. all of those things are simmering and we have had at least what appears to the folks in the middle east, and they can say what they want, i travel there frequently, the middle east believes the countries in the middle east believe that there is a disengagement policy by the united states and that lack of leadership there or at least clarity on what our position is is causing problems. if we all decide to rally around the video as the problem we are going to make a serious mistake and we are going to make i think diplomatic mistakes as we move forward if we think that is the only reason people are showing up at our embassy and trying to conduct acts of violence. >> chris: let me ask you a political question. not an intelligence question. do you think the administration is putting it all on the video
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because that allows them to duck questions about their policies? >> well, i think we have not had a robust debate in the campaign in the presidential campaign about foreign policy. it has been on the back burner. the president doesn't talk a lot about it. he hasn't given any speeches of really of significance since the 2009 cairo speech. i do think that policies overseas have consequences. i had a meeting with a senior middle east intelligence official awhile ago and asked him if i could make you king for a day what would you ask of the united states and he stopped for a minute, chris and said i would tell you to tell us what is your middle east policy. there is no u.s. leadership. that is a pretty powerful thing to hear when you have all this chaos breaking out now and this was several months ago. but you it shows that the policies do have some consequence. it as combination of all of the things i just talked about. it as very, very difficult problem
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to solve but you can't solve it by just trying to step back and letting the cauldron simmer on its own. it as combination of showing strength and showing up. we have to be there. israel is showing frustration here. >> chris: let me interrupt. obviously relationships would be much more complicated after the arab spring. democracies were placed. islamic groups were allowed to protest in the streets where before theyd that been suppressed. could the administration the president have done more to aggressively advance our interests in this changing middle east? >> i'm not going to say it is not hard, these are hard problems. i do think it is important that with u.s. leadership you don't allow the governments to fan the flames of antiamericannism for their own domestic consumption and do the wink, wink, nudge, nudge exchange public statements about how we
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all don't like it. that is not a good policy and is not going to solve the problem. you need direct conversations and public conversations and i think from the president as well and i hope he does start to engage in a public way in foreign policy that helps set the record straight about the united states position. again, saying that we have great relationships and saying everything is wonderful and saying it is just this one video causing all of this problem, obviously the bad guys are going to use this as a reason to do what they have already been doing but we need more than that. that is where i hope maybe there is a silver lining in this, chris, and we can turn this around. this shouldn't be about the election. it can't be about the election. it has to be about standing up for our national security issues because it is going to impact us no matter who wins in november and it has, as we can see very serious consequences if we don't get it right. >> chris: congressman, should the u.s. and this is a decision you have to make at a member of congress.
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should the u.s. cut off aid to countries like egypt or libya or delay it, condition it on the idea that that you have to show that you are willing to protect u.s. interests whether it is literally protecting our embassies and diplomats or advancing u.s. policies? >> well, the first thing is they are obligated to protect our embassy. i wouldn't make that a condition of anything. they need to do that today without excuse and without delay. on top of that, i think we can condition aid. i always said if we just completely pull out of egypt is america better off or worse off when it comes to being able to influence a better outcome for peace. i think it is probably better that we have some influence in egypt to have conversations about you don't want to provoke israel and don't want to continue on with this antiamericannism. we shouldn't just give the money and hope for the best, that is not going to work. if we condition the spending
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and understand it is okay to ask for something that is in our best interest. we shouldn't apologize for that. we shouldn't say that is offensive to any one. it is our money. it is taxpayer money and we ought to say here is what we really want to have happen and that good influence of the united states really we prefer commerce over conflict and if we can continue to promote that around the world the world is going to be a better place. we have to be there for that to happen. i wouldn't run away from the money right away and say we are going to punish you immediately but we are going to condition it and if you don't do what you we ask you to do we will take the money aweigh. it is in our best interest to do it. >> chris: thank you so much for bringing us up to date on the investigation of the deadly attack in libya and the whole rest of the situation in the middle east. thank you. >> thanks, chris, appreciate it. >> chris: coming up what happens now to the president's middle east policy. we will bring our sunday group into the conversation, when we come right back.
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i have come here to cairo to seek a new beginning between the united states and muslims around the world. one based on mutual interest and mutual respect. and one based upon the truth that america and islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. >> chris: that was president obama in cairo three years ago trying to reset relations between the u.s. and the islamic world. time for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. liz marlantsa of the christian science monitor. brill kristol of the weekly standard and jeff delana of the new york times. we remember the speech where the president said that the trauma of 9/11 had led usions, quote, to act contrary to our
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ideals in promising to change course. brit, in the aftermath of what we have seen last week, how has the president's policy as set forth in cairo looking? >> well, it looks a little ragged and i would say that they were remarks that he made even before the cairo speech that were even more to the point when said in an interview on november 21, 2007 i truly believe he said that the day i'm inaugurated not only does the country look at itself differently but the world looks at itself differently and launched into a discussion of the muslim world and background in muslim countries and in tunisia and his half sister is muslim world and in the end ultimately went on to say this will make us safer, something the administration has failed to grasp. i think we are seeing the further education of a president who was and to come extent remains a foreign policy novice and learning that his mere obamaness and all that goes with it is not sufficient
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to change the fact that the middle east remains a tinderbock be subject to being lit ablaze by even a small match which i think that movie is at best a small match. >> chris: liz, what happened to the reset between relations between the u.s. and the islamic world? >> obviously, it has been hard going. as obama himself said in the 2009 speech antiamericannism, tensions between the middle east and u.s. have been going on for decades and is something that is not going to quickly change. he said that. i do agree with brit to some extent this is another area where obama now is probably suffering the consequences of what were probably inflated expectations going there and listening was somehow going to change things and obviously it is a really difficult problem and seems like we have internal power struggles going on in the countries and not a lot of good options.
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>> chris: bill, when i talked to ambassador rice and discussed what critics are saying about u.s. foreign policy which he did not like i was thinking of you, this notion that the u.s. is in disengagement from the middle east and we are in retreat and our friends and enemies don't know who we are or how much they can count on what they believe about us. obviously, you know, the people who killed the americans, the people who stormed the embassy, they are responsible but to what degree do you think obama's policies have contributed to the events this week? >> i think they have contributed and i really wish it weren't the case. i really wish as implied that president obama was educated since his cairo speech. i thought actually a year ago after the surge in afghanistan and after the killing of osama bin laden, the drone atabs, tougher stance generally that perhaps he had learned something from his early preelection promises
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and the speech in the summer of 2009. watching them this week they are exactly where they were in the cairo speech. the white house press secretary saying from the white house podium this trailer of the movie that no one has seen. >> chris: and the u.n. ambassador. >> and the u.n. ambassador is saying that. nothing to do with the u.s. policy, nothing to do with what the u.s. stands for. really? that is the position of the u.s. government? not just of the obama campaign that is one thing, that is just politics. the u.s. government, the u.s. administration is saying that? what is the actual response storks send an fbi team over to take a look at the situation. now, it is reported that the fbi team can't land, can't go to libya and they pulled them back yesterday because it is not a safe enough situation to do their forensic situation. a parody of going back to the 1990s. i think there was bipartisan agreement that that way of addressing national security threats was not effective. it is what we did in the '90s and it didn't work and now they are right back where they were before 9/11.
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>> chris: jeff, do you think, i find a astonishing myself to say this is all about the video. do you think they really believe that or see that as an easy out and as i suggested to mike rogers now they don't have to answer questions about policy because it has nothing to do about policy? >> i'm not sure if they believe it or not but they are doubling down on it. it looks like they believe it, be even privately even in conversations i have had over the weekend with senior administration officials about this no one is leaving open the possibility this is just a line we are are giving as we look into it further. it seems to me that they are opening themselves up to or they are leaving themselves vulnerable here. once more answers are known i think as chairman rogers was saying he was giving a very sort of even handed response i think saying look we still don't know the answers to a lot of the questions of what happened over there. if this administration -- if it turns out a month from now that there was a major intelligence
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failure i think this is going to look pretty irresponsible and silly right now to say this is all because of a trailer for a video. i was at that speech in cairo in 2009 and i'm struck how much has changed and how much it almost looks -- some of those comments sound i don't know if naive but quaint given everything that happened with the arab spring and things and certainly not really relevant. i think there is time for a reset of that reset and we haven't heard the president talk about his policy a lot since then. >> chris: and that brings up a fair question, brit, which is the arab spring. obviously things were going to be more complicated after the arab spring. you couldn't just call up hosni mubarak and say stop the protesters. you have democracies instead of dictators, islamic groups now free to express themselves and, yes, to protest. how could the president have better managed what was always going to be a messy transition?
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>> a couple of things. two ways to look at this. one is how the president and his team dealt with the actions in the countries most affected by the arab spring. seems we have kind of a mixed set of results. the other question revolves around when militant islamists are considering how to attack or undermine the united states it is believed that one of the things that they deeply respect is power and force. they understand it. they recognize it. they fear it. and it worries them. so if you look at the fact that we are out of iraq, we are pulling out of afghanistan, does that look to them like strength or weakness and a possible opportunity? if it turns out that al-qaeda was deeply involved in the benghazi attack it would be a very significant al-qaeda success and the first they had really since the heyday of al-qaeda in iraq. that will represent it seems to me a serious sign of failure of
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the administration's policies throughout the region. >> chris: all right. we have to take a break here. but coming up, we have covered the policy, next the politics of national security as it is playing out on the campaign trail. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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the first response of the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. an apology for america's values is never the right course. >> governor romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things i learned is you can't do that. >> chris: president obama and governor romney with punch and counter punch over the u.s.
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reaction to the violence in the middle east this week. we are are back now with the panel. it has certainly been the big political question in washington this last week. did mitt romney make a mistake attacking the president's policies just five hours after we found out that those four americans had been slaughtered in benghazi. brit, as you look back at this over the last few days and now it played out what do you think? >> i think what he said was correct but it was clumsy. and it opened him up to charges that he made a terrible mistake. we had an almost ludicrous overreaction in a lot of the media about it in which what he did became the big story rather than what was happening over there which was not a great moment for the national media i'm sad to say. he could have waited, it might have been better if he had. look, what he was criticizing there was a statement that we were talking about in the first panel which is the administration emphasis on this video and attacking it and reiterating the cairo embassy
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not only said that but reiterated it later after these event had unfolded. they doubled down ton. eventually the white house walked it back and so on but the next thing you know the white house is saying the same thing it is all about the video. my is sense is that he was on the mark. he might have timed it better or said it better. >> liz? >> i think it was a tricky week for both mitt romney and president obama and when you have a week when obama is being compared to jimmy carter and mitt romney compared to richard nixon it is not a week that either campaign is probably going to want to remember. that said, i think in the short-term romney's statements got more attention. and i think the problem that romney has in this situation is sort of two-fold. one was that he did seem political and seemed like he was acting more in the interest of his campaign than acting in the interest of the americans overseas who were in danger at the time. and secondly, it it has been hard for him to articulate exactly what he would be doing
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that is different. he says he would be shaping events rather than letting events shape his policy but doesn't say exactly what that means. is he saying he would not have withdrawn from iraq and would rather that we were still there? the consequences of what he actually seems to be implying are not necessarily policies that would be popular with americans right now. think it makes it hard. he has the sweeping language about how he wants to project strength but won't say exactly what that that means. if strength means military force and spending more money on foreign aid that is not popular either. it is not clear what those actions would be. >> chris: i will pick up on that. even if romney's timing is wrong, there is certainly debate over the president's foreign policy. we had some today with ambassador rice and congressman rogers and i talked to top officials in the romney campaign and they said they have no plans for a major foreign policy speech in the next few weeks before the debates. the question is why not?
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>> imkey keeping hope that they think they should address the issue on the mind of every american now which is what is going on over there and why is it happening and what would the next president do to address it? it is crazy not to address it. that is what people want to hear about. i heard from a congressional candidate yesterday sent me an e-mail and said he is interested personally in foreign policy and hasn't spoken much about it and his audiences haven't asked him much about it over the last 14 months. suddenly last week he didn't begin to raise it it but suddenly all of the questions were about it. the next president has to deal with what are you going to do. he needs to address it. you you need to address this. better to be clumsy and correct than timid and silent. i hope as someone who hopes romney wins i hope he is not timid and silent and does what liz said and lays out his foreign policy agenda. and i talked with some romney people, too. have to be careful, war is unpopular and afghanistan is unpopular and iraq.
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horrible memories. which convention spoke more about war are? which convention wasn't timid to say the word afghanistan? it was the democratic convention. and they got a bounce and the republicans who shied away totally from foreign policy didn't get a bounce. maybe the american public is a little more mature and serious than the campaign strategists think and maybe they would like to hear what the next president would do about this crisis. >> chris: jeff, you know, i think it would be fair to say there is a growing sense among political observers that romney is losing right now. not that he has lost and that it is over but that he is losing ground. i think the question is after this selection of paul ryan which is seen as a bold choice they seem to have gone back into something of a crouch and are not campaigning on a bold agenda as a candidate of reform. what are they thinking at romney headquarters in boston? >> i think they are frustrated by the sort of growing story line that he may be losing. but i think losing is the wrong
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way to look at it. he is not losing or hasn't lost. he probably has failed to take advantage of this moment of the really three weeks since naming the vice presidential candidate and into his convention. i mean the jobs report number a week ago on friday seems like a long time ago was something that his campaign thought would reset things. really didn't. so they had a hard time sort of i think resetting the race and gaining ground. i think it is absurd to say that he he has lost or is losing. i mean the cbs "new york times" poll last week showed among likely voters it is still a three point contest within the margin of error. that is with even what romney's own advisors will concede they have not had the smoothest of of weeks. this is still an even race and anything can happen. even in battleground states across the country the obama campaign seems to be performing a little bit better. >> chris: why this reluctance
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to give a major foreign policy speech when there is all of the criticisms that the policies favor the rich over the middle class, why not give a speech and explain? you can hear people clamoring for what are some of the things that he would do in tax reform that would hurt the rich? >> the overarching thought in the romney campaign is still that the election is about president obama and that they can win the election by the growing sentiment it is time to fire president obama. i'm not sure that is right. they have to give it seems a lot of republicans are hungering for more of a reason romney. i'm not convinced they won't give some kind of big speech. i don't know if it will be a foreign policy speech. they have seen the same information that everyone hear sees and talks about. they have to kick things up a little bit. >> even if this ends up being in effect a referendum on the president and his record, the challenger still has something that must be done. and that is to present himself as a plausible and acceptable
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presidential alternative. now, romney has the presidential bearing down, he is fine on that. he presented himself at his convention as a nice guy and normal person with a great family. he has that down. what he didn't do is dwell at length on the economic policies that he would put in place. and a big piece of being a plausible president is being knowledgeable and have a deep sense of the world and the united states place in it and be able to differentiate the policies you would pursue from the other guy and he hasn't done that. so he may get the referendum but if he hasn't done his part and stepped up as plausible alternative he might lose anyway. >> chris: liz? >> i think it has become a difficult storyline for romney that he is losing. we had a lot of stories in the last week or two about the differences in the polls and that is a difficult position for a candidate to get into because the entire media lens starts to be through the lens of he is the losing candidate
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right now and i think even the reaction this week to his statement was seen as an act of desperation. that is the way you cover a candidate that is losing. the romney campaign has to do something to turn around because right now it is not helping them. >> chris: bill, less than a minute left. i guess what confuses me is when pecked ryan as his running mate i tout that was a statement he would come forward with a bold affirmative positive agenda and be the candidate of reform and yet he has after naming him and getting a little bump in the polls and people getting excited he hasn't capitalized on that. >> maybe they will learn a lesson from the day he selected until the republican convention he narrowed the polls. it is back up to three points when they have gone back to the prehe ryan campaign. maybe shepard smith should the ryan pick which isllow up n positive. >> chris: check out panel plus where our group picks up with this discussion on our website
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>>. >> chris: they are one of washington's power couples. he the was the top executive at aol and cbs. she used to write sitcoms. now taking on the fight of their lives and they are our power players of the week. >> the only disease top ten
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killers that has no means of prevention, cure or treatment. >> george is talking about alzheimer's the disease that robs people of memory and then mind and eventually kills them. he and his wife of 43 years trish have donated millions of dollars to launch an organization called us against alzheimer's. >> chris: what is the goal? >> it means prevention and treatment by the year 2020. >> chris: is there any reason to believe that is possible over the next eight years? >> yes, the answer is 2020 is feasible. is it a guarantee, no otherwise why should we be in the game. >> chris: what makes it different they invest in research but it's also a political action committee contributing to candidates that back their fight. this week the braydenbergs were on capitol hill meeting with jim moran. >> cancer is allocated about $6
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billion a year, hiv-aids, $3 billion and alzheimer's $450 million a year. >> chris: he says if we don't find a treatment for alzheimer's it will bankrupt the nation. now 5 million americans have the disease but with aging babyboomers that will double in 30 years. >> it's costing $200 billion a year, 70% of that comes from medicare and medicaid. that is going out to one trillion a year. >> chris: it's personal. trish's mother who was a new hampshire democrat died of the disease 20 years ago. >> we saw her go downhill from the towering human being to the person who didn't know us. >> chris: tough question. do you worry you are going to get it? >> there are days i can't find my keys. yeah, i worry. >> chris: is it true you haven't been tested?
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>> until i know that there is a possibility of having some way to diminish or stop or rest alzheimer's, i don't need to know if i have a death sentence or not. >> chris: honestly how much of this crusade is the fact that you want to find a cure, a treatment? >> of course. whether i'm the caregiver or the victim. one out of two over 85 have this disease. >> chris: so they keep sounding the alarm. keep trying to build a political movement against a killer they say is coming for them in and so many of us. >> with alzheimer's its cruel disease, it's going to take tens of millions of lives and we can't get ourselves together. that is frustrating. >> chris: if you want to learn more about their cause, check out their website up against alzheimer's.org. have a great week. we'll see you nex